one of my favorite items for entertaining…
One of my favorite items for entertaining is my inexpensive milk jars with lids. I use these jars to take necessities for our glamping trips such as oil, milk, salad dressing, and sauces. They are also great for our local BOE excursions to music in the park, outdoor movie events and pop up picnics!
I love using these bottles when I create a signature drink for our pop-up events or parties. For our 80’s party, I made a wine cocktail (think Bartle + James) for the adults and stored them in the individual bottles. The adults loved them and enjoyed just grabbing a bottle and cracking it open! Plus, it reduces the need for plastic/paper cups or hauling a bunch of wine glasses. These bottles are easier to pack and tow wherever we venture to sip and savor.
For our day at the pool with friends and family, I decided we needed something refreshing to sip on. When we have the kids along with us, I like to create a drink that has a non-alcoholic base that the kids will also enjoy and forces you to sip and not gulp your drink. A tart lemon drink is just the thing!
One of mine and my friend’s favorite sipper is a lemony-cucumber infusion so I went with an easy mix of Trader Joe’s Low Calorie Lemonade, with ribbons of cucumber, a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint. I just poured the lemonade halfway, added a little sparkling water, added the cucumber, lemon and mint then left room for the adults to add a shot of vodka or gin. You can get clever and use flavored sparkling water to add another level of flavor and filling the bottles halfway prevents less waste of unwanted drinks the kids leave behind. I always have bottles of lemonade on standby for those children that cringe at the thought of vegetables floating in their lemonade. Our kids are older, so the bottles are not an issue but if you have younger kids, the lemonade is still an easy drink to fill their non-breakable cups with.
Be sure to have extra cucumber, lemon and mint on the side for people like me who will shove tons of cucumber in my bottle creating a regular garden cocktail. I also have straws on hand and a container for the lids and empty bottles. You can make the bottles up ahead of time to allow the flavors to infuse.
I know that once you have these great bottles, you’ll find many uses for them. I bought a set of 12 bottles with lids and straws for around $20. I’m adding the drink recipe below as a quick reference. ENJOY!
1 bottle of Trader Joe’s Low Calorie Lemonade
1 bottle of Sparkling Water
1 Bunch Mint
Bottle of Vodka or Gin
12 Milk Bottles with Lids
Straws (reusable or paper)
Party Tub or Ice Trough
Bags of ice
Empty ice trough for lids and used bottles
Use the mandolin to create cucumber ribbons and thin slices of lemon. I took the extra step and removed the seeds in the slices so my friends wouldn’t sip one up. If you do not have a mandolin you can use a vegetable peeler to create the ribbons and just slice the lemon thin enough to allow it to be bent and slid through the bottle opening.
Add a cucumber ribbon, lemon slice and sprig of mint to each bottle. Using your funnel, fill each bottle halfway with lemonade then repeat with the sparkling water until the bottle is ¾ full. I like to take a straw and gently stir each drink to mix the ingredients then put the lids on tight enough to keep the bubbles fresh but not too tight your guest can’t open them.
Fill your party tub with ice and shove those bottles into the ice to chill!